Investing in sustainable communities: Coca-Cola Thank You Fund offers €100,000 in grants to youth-focused community groups

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Importance of sustainable communities

he insight, talents and dedication of Ireland’s young people are key to tackling some of the most pressing issues we face. One initiative that recognises this is the Coca-Cola Thank You Fund: a grant established by the Coca-Cola Company in 2011, which has to date distributed a total figure of €1,255,000 in grants to over 120 non-profit organisations across the island of Ireland

The Coca-Cola Thank You Fund was founded to mark the company’s 125th anniversary. Since its inception, the Fund has supported diverse community projects that assist young people with employment, education, healthy and active lifestyles, social issues, and environmental leadership, to name a few.

The Fund’s theme for 2022 is: Investing in Sustainable Communities.

This year, Coca-Cola will donate €100,000 to youth-orientated charities, community groups, and non-profit organisations that are committed to helping young people play an active role in shaping, creating and maintaining sustainable communities for the benefit of all. The Fund’s aim for 2022 is to encourage budding change makers across the island of Ireland to develop communities with economic and environmental sustainability – as well as social equity – at their heart.

Supporting change champions

The Coca-Cola Thank You Fund 2022 was recently launched by acclaimed presenter Brian Dowling and his husband, Dancing With the Stars judge Arthur Gourounlian. As part of the launch, the couple met representatives of Drogheda’s Boomerang Youth Café: past Fund recipients who were able to describe the positive difference the grant share can make in enhancing youth outreach initiatives.

Just one of the 13 recipients of last year’s 2021 Thank You Fund, Boomerang Youth Café were awarded €5,000 for the development of a six-week work readiness course designed to prepare young people for employment by engaging in confidence-building activities like goal setting, personal decision making and stress management – empowering and educating vulnerable young people from their community.

Now open for applications

As part of their theme of Investing in Sustainable Communities, the Coca-Cola Thank You Fund is now seeking applications which fall under one or more of the following three categories:

Education

Educational, Training and Resilience entrepreneurship programmes for young people

Diversity & Inclusion

Programmes that support Diversity & Inclusivity and social equity among young people

Care for the environment

Programmes that encourage and support young people to care for and protect the environment

For the purposes of the Fund, young people are defined as those aged between 16 and 25 years of age. Interested groups have until midnight on Wednesday July 20th to apply.

Leaders of the future

The Coca-Cola Thank You Fund is just one initiative that the Coca-Cola Company is championing, together with its bottling partner Coca-Cola HBC Ireland, to support young people across the island of Ireland. Youth Empowered is a separate programme delivered by the Coca-Cola System, with the specific aim of supporting women and at-risk youth to fulfil their potential, whilst supporting economic recovery.

Through these initiatives, as well as its ongoing partnerships with Irish Youth Foundation and YouthAction NI, Coca-Cola seeks to inspire young people as they become change champions.

Now in its twelfth year, the Coca-Cola Thank You Fund continues to play its part in building the leaders of the future.

Commenting on the Fund Agnese Filippi, Country Manager, Coca-Cola Ireland said; “Life skills, good values and positive routines are passed down from generation to generation, but with so many young people isolated from their network in recent years, through the Coca-Cola Thank You Fund, we’re seeking to invest in youth orientated organisations across the island of Ireland that are supporting the next generation of change champions.

“It’s never been more important to empower our young people with the dispositions and skills they need to take a more active role in the creation of sustainable communities, so we’re delighted to be in a position to once again this year fund programmes and projects that are committed and aligned to this mission across the island of Ireland.

“Since 2011 we’ve donated over €1.2 million to over 120 charities, community groups and non-profit organisations, and with the help of our fantastic Coca-Cola Thank You Fund launch ambassadors Brian and Arthur and the continued support of our long-standing partners, Irish Youth Foundation and YouthAction Northern Ireland, we hope to inspire local leaders seeking funding to apply.”

Communities will have the opportunity to vote for their favourite project from the shortlisted organisations, with the return of the Fund’s popular ‘People’s Choice Award’. Successful 2022 Fund recipients will be announced in the autumn.

Assessed under the categories of Education, Diversity & Inclusion, and Care For The Environment, applications for funding can be submitted until midnight on Wednesday 20th July. Visit the website to see full details of the conditions of entry: www.coca-cola.ie/thankyou